Will Republicans finance defense adequately?


Many Americans are now wondering: “What policies will Republicans pursue if they recapture the Congress?”

I’m not sure if they will even win the 2010 Congressional election, and I’m not sure what policies will they pursue if they win it.

I’m not sure whether they will finance America’s defense (i.e. its military) adequately. The Constitution says that one of the duties of the federal government, and one of the reasons why it was established in the first place, is to provide for the common defense. Yet, many people and practically all liberal and libertarian groups have called on Republicans (as well as the current Democrat-dominated Congress) to reduce defense spending.

AT’s William Hawkins is worried that Republicans will listen to these groups. (http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/10/nato_defense_cuts_endanger_us.html)

He’s wrong about one thing, though: that defense spending allegedly accounts for the majority of total discretionary spending. It does not. Defense spending constitutes/ed only 37.579% of the total FY2010 federal discretionary budget. Total military spending (including the GWOT supplemental) constituted only 47% of it.

The GOP’s 2010 electoral platform (the Pledge to America) says that, with exceptions for America’s troops, Republicans will reduce annual federal spending by $100 bn if they retake the Congress, and that Republicans will provide for “a robust defense”. The GOP’s pledge says, inter alia:

With common-sense exceptions for seniors, veterans, and our troops, we will roll back government spending to prestimulus, pre-bailout levels, saving us at least $100 billion in the first year alone and putting us on a path to begin paying down the debt, balancing the budget, and ending the spending spree in Washington that threatens our children’s future. (…) But an electoral pledge is one thing, and an actual Congressional policy is another thing.

 

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